But it’s so cold out!

But it’s so cold out!

Are you crazy?  It’s dipping into the -10c and you’re running outside?   I find it hard to continue running in the cold weather.  There are so many excuses and the frigid weather makes it very easy to skip a run or two in your week.  Of course the common excuses are – it’s dark out, it’s freezing outside I’m going to get sick.  Although I can’t help you with your thoughts, I can give you some tips to help you stick to your running schedule and remain sick-free.

  1. Shirts – Dress in layers.  Typically I would wear a wicking long sleeve to wick away the moisture from my skin.  If it is really cold outside ie -10c I would add a light fleece on top to insulate my body from the cold weather, and then top it off with a light windbreaker jacket.   Depending on the temperature I would add or remove a fleece layer.   Usually runners should dress for weather that is slightly warmer than it is.  You should feel slightly cold when you walk outside.  If you are warm when you walk outside, then you need to remove a layer.   You don’t need to worry about getting sick, you will generate a lot of heat and sweat when you run and your body will get warmer.
  2. Pants – Usually I wear running pants that have a thermal interior and a dense outer shell for wind, snow or rain protection.
  3. Head and hand accessories – I always wear my running cap to keep the snow out of my eyes and to block the wind.  I found that if I ran without my cap I usually get a headache afterwards.   If it’s really cold outside or snowing I wear my bellaclava to protect my face.   For my hands, I usually have really warm hands so I hardly use gloves.  But on the extremely cold days I turn to my Nike running gloves.
  4. Accessories – If you run in the evenings, make sure you remain visible.  It’s hard for drivers/cyclists to see you at night and hard for you to see the road.  One advice is to stay off the roads although it’s tempting when you see the are roads clear.  The roads might be icy or snow on the ground and makes it hard for vehicles to stop.    You can buy a light to attach to your running belt or jacket so drivers/cyclists can see you.   You can buy or attach reflective strips on your clothes.
  5. Finishing your run – If you run don’t stop and if you do stop don’t start again.  You’re clothes will be wet from your sweat and you will be sweating so if you stop in cold weather you will definitely get sick.  Make sure you keep moving.
  6. Slow down – The sidewalks and roads are slippery.  Keep your strides short and low.  Don’t try to race down a hill.  Run with your feet lower to the ground to reduce the risk of slipping, falling or straining muscles.

In the end, have fun and enjoy the beautiful scenery.   When fresh snow falls it really feels like you are running in a winter wonderland.

Related Running Tips:

  1. Night running
  2. Winter Running -15C What did I wear?
  3. Getting Out To Run
  4. How To Safely Run Trails
  5. Running After Being Sick
  6. Which sunglasses I recommend for Running or Cycling
  7. Steps to Marathon Recovery



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